A DREAM came true for a small alpaca breeder and entrepreneur in Church Stretton when she opened the doors of her new High Street shop, Coco Alpacas.

Jane Potts has always wanted to own a high quality wool shop- and thanks to her herd of 18 pedigree alpacas, she has made her dream a reality.

She fell in love with her Huacaya alpacas back in 2007 after seeing them at the Royal Show in Warwickshire and bought two pregnant females, Eliza and Phoebe, and began to acquire a herd of her own.

Jane then decided to produce luxurious hand-knitted accessories like hats, gloves and scarves from their soft, fashionable wool.

After 18 months of selling her products at local markets and craft fairs she has launched her shop at 9, High Street, Church Stretton.

Two of Jane’s alpacas, Wizard and Derby, were on show in the Square, opposite the shop, to introduce her business to intrigued shoppers and tourists.

“I was amazed and delighted by the huge display of interest in the animals and our hand-knitted and hand-woven products”, said Jane.

The alpacas have different coloured fleeces from black, grey and dark brown to fawn, beige and white, and hand-knitted Coco Alpacas accessories are available in all these natural shades. The shop also stocks accessories and yarn in vibrant shades.

After being shorn once a year and the fibre is sent to a mill in Lincolnshire for processing. The yarn is washed, carded and then spun.

When the yarn comes back, Jane winds it into 100g balls and labels it. She has an assistant who does the knitting.

“Coco Alpacas is very much a hands-on cottage industry- I enjoy it enormously”, Jane said.